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Pilea Dying? Here’s How to Save Your Beloved Plant

As a popular houseplant, witnessing Pilea dying can be the worst thing a gardener could encounter.

Generally, some common reasons a Pilea plant could be dying are over or under-watering, over-fertilizing, too much exposure to the sun, wrong plant location, diseases, and pest infection.

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This article discusses the causes, symptoms, solutions, and preventive measures. So, stay tuned to get detailed information on keeping your lovely plant alive.

Can You Save a Dying Pilea?

As a gardener, I felt gutted to see my Pilea succumbing to different problems.

If something similar happens, fret not; you can easily save a dying Pilea plant unless the ship has not sailed.

However, Pilea wants intensive care until the plant revives. And care should start as soon as you notice the initial symptoms.

Delay in care may trigger extreme stress causing Pilea to die permanently. So, always watch out for signs, and when the plant starts showing symptoms, start taking action.

Dying Pilea Plant
Pilea plant dying may be caused by different anomalies in its growth.

Continue reading to find preventive measures to protect your plant from stress conditions.

Common Reasons your Pilea might be Dying

Below are some common symptoms Pilea peperomioides show when they do not like their environment.

1. Over-Watering

Overwatering of the Pilea plant is the most common cause for Pilea showing dying symptoms.

Overwatering can be the reason for Pilea dying if you are watering it when the soil is still wet; this may generally be true in colder and humid seasons.

Moreover, overwatering causes problems like droopy and falling leaves or curled leaves.

Further, if you ignore the overwatering when the leaves droop, the whole plant will wilt after some days.

Prolonged overwatering of the plant also causes the roots to rot, and white grains appear on the lower portion of the leaves.

As Pilea root rot is challenging to diagnose initially, it is generally detrimental to the plant.

How to Revive?

  • Do not water the plant for some days, and let the pot stay in the sun to remove excess water by evaporation.
  • Let the soil on top dry entirely before you water the plant again.
  • Cut off the rotten part; this works mainly when the rotting is confined to an isolated root part.
  • If rotting has reached the stem, replant the Pilea by removing the old with a cutting from the same or different plant.
  • Cut and remove the drooping and dying leaves.

Quick Tip: To avoid any complications, water less during humid seasons and ensure your pot has enough drainage holes.

2. Under-Watering

If you do not water your plant once or twice weekly in the dry season, it may feel thirsty and stressed.

Underwatering may also cause your beloved Pilea to die.

But Pilea shows the following symptoms to let you know it is thirsty: the changed color of leaves, curling and falling leaves, and droopy plant.

How to Revive?

  • Pour enough water to thoroughly soak the soil from top to bottom until the plant revives.
  • Mist the leaves of Pilea regularly.
  • Relocate the plant to a shady area from a sunny site.

Quick Tip: Determine the time for watering by touching the soil, irrigate if the mud on the top 2-3″ is completely dry. Also, water the plant to make the dirt moist not wet.

3. Improper Lighting

Pilea thrives in indirect but abundant light. Try placing it near a window to keep your plant happy.

Improper lighting conditions may cause problems like curled leaves, brown leaf spots, and changed leaves’ color.

Both too much direct sunlight and too little light are harmful.

How to Revive?

  • If the plant is placed where direct sunlight is abundant the whole day, try relocating the plant to a slight shade.
  • If your Pilea is in a slightly darker location and the plant receives significantly less sunlight in a day, replace the plant in a less dark space.
  • You can also place the Pilea plant in the sun for 3-4 hours daily.
  • You can use a sheer curtain to filter the direct sunlight falling on the plant.

4. Use of Excessive Fertilizer

Pilea is a very easy-growing plant. A small amount of feed during the actively growing season is sufficient for Pilea to thrive.

However, if you are a plant lover and Pilea is your first project, you might be reluctant to love your plant overly.

Problems like Pilea leaves curling and brown spots may result from overfeeding the plant.

How to Revive?

  • Decrease the frequency of feeding your plant. Adding fertilizer at the time of repotting or during the active growing season is sufficient.
  • When feeding Pilea, apply a small amount of houseplant liquid fertilizer diluted in water.
  • For fertilizer burn (or brown spot), you can pour some water on the soil; it will dilute the fertilizer on the dirt.

If your Pilea is dying after repotting, it may be suffering from transplant shock. Make sure you let the plant settle its stress on its own.

5. Improper Temperature

Does your Pilea have brown spots on its leaves even after feeding it with fertilizer very rarely? It might be because of ill-managed temperature.

The brown leaf symptom is seen because of both high and low temperatures.

Also, remember, keeping your plant near air conditioners can be the cause of your Pilea dying in winter.

How to Revive?

  • Do not place the Pilea in direct sun. It causes sunburn (or brown spots).
  • Place the plant away from AC and single-pane windows during the cold season.

Quick tip: Change the plant’s location according to season to maintain the temperature of 15-30°C.

6. Fungal Diseases

Sometimes, Pilea may be infected by several fungi causing ill health to your beloved plant. Such conditions are very harmful and sometimes detrimental to the Pilea.

Name of DiseaseSymptoms
Southern blightStem of plant collapse due to rotting at the collar region
Pythium root rotStunted and wilted plant with brown or black, mushy and rotten roots
AnthracnoseWater- soaked bruise on leaves

How to Revive?

  • Reduce the humidity of the room.
  • Place the plant in a sunny place more often until the fungal infection disappears.
  • Clean the infected part with fungicides like Neem oil.
  • Place the infected plant away from other healthy plants.
  • Drench the Pilea soil with Fungicides for root infections.

Quick tip: Make sure you always use sterilized equipment around your Pilea.

7. Pest Infestation

Pests can only infest a plant if it is weak, so if your Pilea is suffering pest infestation, don’t forget to treat the plant’s health along with the pests.

Commonly, Pilea is infested by aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs, which show the symptoms of leaves curling.

Pest infestation in indoor plants is due to the entry of pests inside the home along with new plants.

Aphids (Pear-shaped, green insects)Foliage looks crinkled or stunted
Spider Mites (Spider-like mites shrouded with webbings)Lower side of leaves have spidery webs
Mealybugs (White, cottony masses)Plant wilts, discolor and curl
Fungus Gnat (Larvae of Gnat flies crawling in the potting soil)Plants will grow poorly and have foliage loss


  • If infestation is low, proper plant care with some fertilizer and water will strengthen it to fight against infestation itself.
  • You can manually remove the pest by picking and wiping off the leaves.
  • Spray neem oil on the plant to get rid of pests.

Quick tip: You can plant insect-repellant plants like garlic, lavender, marigold, etc, to reduce infestation.

If you want to know about the care tips for your Pilea, watch this video.

Editor’s Note

Pilea peperomioides are lovely plants. They are both easy to grow and aesthetically appealing.

Little care is needed to prevent it from dying and thriving for many years. As stress is always bad for plants, keep your Pilea away.

Instead, love your Pilea a little, and it will give you a lot of beautiful leaves. Good luck!

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